Harrison Richards is the founder and President of Furls Fiberarts. He is a great person who gives back to the crochet community and loves to produce the finest handmade products that you can touch. In many of our conversations, he describes his products as the Laburgeni of crochet hooks. And to that, I must say is a bold statement. But it is one that Harrison backs with full confidence, a gorgeous smile and a great warranty. So far, he has tons of positive reviews on his products and is the buzz around town as the “luxury hook” maker.
Q) Harrison, what is the story/history of your company?
A) This is one of my favorite stories. All throughout middle and high school, I was a crocheter and knitter and in my freshman year of high school I started dating a girl who would later become my high school sweetheart. I fell absolutely head-over-heels in love with this girl and thought she was the most perfect thing ever.
She also loved to crochet, but often suffered from sore hands after using such small conventional hooks. Being the Romeo I was back then, I hated to see her suffer just because she was doing something she loved ‘too much’- there should never be such a thing as ‘crocheting too much’. So I went home and, with no woodworking experience and a blunt Swiss Army knife, I chipped away at a little Oak twig until I had something that vaguely- squint your eyes- might have passed as a crochet hook.
Of course, she loved it just because it was a gift given in the spirit of adolescent romance but I kept making more and more hooks until they really started to fit her hand well. She loved them so much that she started sharing them with her friends and I started to rack up orders for these funny custom crochet hooks in high school.
To keep a long story short, we ended up going separate ways when I left for college in the UK- where I’m originally from- but when I returned to the sates I really felt like there had been something to those hooks. The love that crocheters had for hooks that loved their hands was immense, and I knew I would never stop thinking about it unless I started Furls as a proper company and tested the potential.
So the summer I got back from college, I started Furls with all of my savings. It was a bumpy ride at first and I kept testing and testing until I had the right design for all sizes and grip styles of crocheters’ hands, but after months of tinkering I found something that fit beautifully. Since then, we’ve added new lines of hooks, reached crocheters in every state and 15 countries around the globe. It’s been a wild journey. Lion Brand also shared our start-up story on their blog:
http://www.lionbrandyarnstudio.com/index.php/furls-crochet-hooks-the-perfect-gift-for- crocheters/ which is a really wonderful take on Furls.
Q) Making a hook for your sweetheart….that’s very nice and soo sweet. How long have you been in business?
A) The company is a few years old now and we are continuously looking for ways to improve the hooks’ shape and make them the most comfortable hooks on earth.
Q) What is your favorite hook that you have ever made?
I really love every single hook that leaves our studios, especially our wooden hooks since I’m such a wood-geek. We did have a particularly gorgeous Cocobolo hook- the wood on this hook was both burled and curly, which is extremely rare, especially for Cocobolo, and made the value of the hook increase by 5 or 6 times- and I was so enamored by this hook I’d decided not to sell it and just use it as a display piece and model hooks for our photoshoots.
A couple weeks after I had made it, we shot a really big photoshoot when one of our models dropped about 7 of our hooks from her hand onto the wood floor of the studio. I ran over, pushed passed the photographer and model to see if the hooks were alright, and saw that everything was fine, except this $400-500 Cocobolo hook which had snapped in half. I was so devastated, and I’m still a little sour when I look back on the incident.
Q)I would have been upset as well, OMG! What selection of hooks do you have for sale and why did you end production of the wooden hooks?
A) Currently we have the Candy Shop, Alpha Series, and new hooks on the way.
We currently sell our wonderful line of Candy Shop hooks that come in four flavors and coordinating size: Blue Raspberry (Size F- 3.75mm), Grape (Size G- 4mm), Strawberry (Size H- 5mm), and Blackberry (Size I- 5.5mm). These are all handmade in our studio in California out of the highest quality casting material on earth and finished with the same paints and coats they use on sports cards.
Our Alpha Series- those are the wood hooks- come in seven different woods-Tulipwood, Rosewood, Blackwood, Cocobolo, Purpleheart, Olivewood, and Bloodwood- and sizes C+ through Q! We had to discontinue these earlier in the year due to manufacturing issues, but were thrilled to bring them back under a new partnership late August.
We have also just released a new line of Knit and Crochet jewelry, with both pure pewter pendants and brooches. They’re probably the cutest thing Furls has ever produced and really we want knitters and crocheters to show how proud they are of their craft by sporting fiberarts jewelry that also looks great.
Furls has a lot of great other products in development right now, but I’m honor bound not to reveal them right now. All I can say is that we’re making every effort to bring the luxurious products that knitters, crocheters, and spinners want and deserve to them as fast as possible.
Q) Harrison, where can people find you online?
Q) Finally, do you have any special promotions or anything cooking that you would like to announce or let our viewers know about? New hooks, Furls Knit, Furls Spin etc.
A) Currently, on our Facebook page, we are giving one of our luxury wooden hooks away per month. There is a different hook every month and anyone who subscribes to our newsletter has a chance to win! We announce the winner at the end of each month.by